Our offseason Four Downs series ends with a look at the NFC West's biggest remaining holes and their most notable UDFA signings. The Rams and 49ers have to kick-start their passing games, Arizona's offense lacks a big dimension, and the Seahawks continue to rely on Russell Wilson's magic tricks.
30 Nov 2006
compiled by Alex Carnevale
"He's one of the most dangerous guys in the league when he has the ball in his hands. You can't expect me to blow the guy up. I didn't make the tackle. Get over it."
-- Plaxico Burress, Giants wideout, on Pac-Man Jones' interception and return against him in Sunday's Titans-Giants showdown.
"I've not done that. I really don't think that's an issue. There's a bunch of plays [against the Titans] that were extremely well called and well dialed up. I'm involved in it and I certainly have my two cents both during the series and between the series, but I really don't think that's the issue."
-- Giants head coach Tom Coughlin, on whether or not he'll start play calling (Newsday)
"It hurts, man. Any loss hurts, but this particular one to a team we should have beat the s--- out of -- this one hurts more."
-- Giants running back Brandon Jacobs, on his team's loss to the Titans on Sunday.
"Because they suck. That's why."
"Chill out, Brandon, because if they suck, we suck."
-- Giants safety Gibril Wilson
"In 10 years in the league I haven't had a quarterback do that any time to me, so we definitely remember that and the guys in the locker room remember that."
-- Minnesota safety Darren Sharper, on Rex Grossman's trash talk in a game earlier this season. (ESPN.com)
"I probably said some things that I regret, but the whole game their DBs were talking to me, just really getting under my skin a little bit and probably more than I should have allowed it to."
-- Bears QB Rex Grossman
"Rex can talk whenever he wants. Anybody on the field can talk when they want and that's where you handle it, on the field. That's the problem with the NFL. Everybody always issues threats through the media. No one ever really does anything about it, so that's something I'm kind of tired of. I've been here nine years and everybody's always talking tough in the media, but there's never any fights. If you're going to talk tough, I mean, go fight somebody."
-- center Olin Kreutz
"Obviously, everybody knows we're not a big defense. I think I'm bigger than every last one of our defensive ends. I don't think that's good."
-- Eagles middle linebacker Jeremiah Trotter
"We played a lot of seven-men-in-the-box because obviously with Peyton Manning back there and those two wide receivers, you can't give up the big play. At the same time, you can't let them continue to gash you. No matter how many men you play in the box ... If you only have two in the box, you have to do a better job than what we did against the run."
"I think it is everybody doing their job and being accurate with their assignments. I don't think the size factors in. We need to make sure we put the guys in the right position."
-- Eagles coach Andy Reid, on his defense's struggles this season.
"We've been here seven years, and nobody has missed the team plane. Whatever excuse he gave me, whether it was a good one or not, it doesn't cut it."
-- Andy Reid, on linebacker DT Brodrick Bunkley missing the team plane.
"That's always your objective with the number-one pick. It just hasn't gone in that direction yet. We need more production out of him when he is out there."
-- Reid, on Bunkley's lack of contribution this season.
"You know what? I don't know. If you'd asked me three or four weeks ago, I'd have said yes. But it seems like we're in the same position every week."
-- Trotter, on whether the defense can turn it around.
"I think each guy needs to start with themselves and make sure that they are doing the right thing. And then make sure schematically we are putting them in the right position to do that. But I believe it can be fixed, yeah."
-- Andy Reid (Philadelphia Inquirer)
"I wouldn't pay attention. My eyes, I would be up in the sky. You know, I would be sleeping in my locker. I wouldn't carry my playbook because I was just trying to get away from this building, you know, when Dick was here."
-- Chiefs running back Larry Johnson, on previous coach Dick Vermeil. (Kansas City Star)
"You know, when we go out, you know, we like to go out. You know, we like to hang out. We like to have fun. But then you got to worry about the guy around the corner with the gun. You got to worry about this girl on the block. You got to worry about, you know, your parents. You got to worry about your homeboys taking advantage of you."
"There's so much things you got to worry about being a young black athlete. And to be able to have a father like mine and have a coach like Herm, I was able to escape a lot of those realities and find myself in a new ray of light."
"I think so. I could relate to Herman. I couldn't do that with the other coaches I had because they had not done it. You know, they haven't put those pads or they haven't been in the situation as a young black athlete and know what we had to go through."
-- LJ, on whether or not Herman's ethnic background mattered in their relationship.
"First time I saw (Johnson), I said: 'Are you ready? Are you readyâ€‚to touch the ball 30 times a game?' And he kind of looked up at me, and he probably thought, 'I haven't even met coach yet, and he's -- what, is he messin' with me?'"
-- Herman Edwards, on meeting LJ.
"You have to understand that the kind of person I've been and the kind of person I am, there should be no question in nobody's mind -- even though there will be -- about my ability on the football field. This is God-given talent."
-- Chargers linebacker Shawne Merriman (Contra Costa Times)
"I think I'll be a little bit anxious waiting for Sunday to get here, but Sunday I'll be fine, just getting out there, flying around, knocking some heads."
"I'm sick of talking about the f---ing yardage. I look at the Colts who are right beside us (in run defense), and they're 10-1. I pick up the paper every week and read about the yardage we've given up. It is what it is. All right? We haven't done well. We actually fit well, the best we've ever played, and they still had 170 rushing on us."
-- Rams defensive coordinator Jim Haslett
"We're ninth (actually 10th) in the league in pass defense, we've given up four (actually five) touchdowns in the last three games. You don't write that stuff. We're fourth in the league in turnovers. We had two (actually three) turnovers this game. You don't write that stuff. You always write the negative stuff. Well, write some positive stuff once in a while. We're fighting as best as we can to stop the run, and we're going to keep working at it."
"There has been an attack on my family ... the Raider family. For someone to do that is unconscionable. It's detestable and it's an outrage. But that's what has happened since I've been here. Tom has taken a lot of the brunt of that."
-- Art Shell, talking about people dissing tight ends coach Tom Walsh, who was recently demoted from his offensive coordinator position. (San Jose Mercury News)
"Starting back in February when we first got here, the character assassination started. When you start getting personal and you start getting into a man's personal life ... I sit back and I watch things happen, and then it gets to a point where you cross the line. That line has been crossed and I won't sit back and allow it to happen anymore."
-- Shell, on a source in the organization dissing Walsh in the media.
"I'm a fighter and I refuse to allow anybody to try to take away from what I'm trying to do here. I expect everybody in this organization to be on the same page with me. Right now, everybody's not."
"You call one of your cronies that's in the news media to make statements ... you know how the law finds your fingerprints, they can tell who you are? When you make statements with your voice and with your words, you can also tell who's making those statements because you know the people."
"I remember watching a thing on Joe DiMaggio where he said, 'If I can't hit .300, I'm out of here. Well, I'm the same way. I'm not done yet. I can still bang it. I'm not just going to be taking up a roster spot. I still have four years left of solid, quality ball. The good thing is my playbook will be the same wherever I go. Hopefully, it's here."
-- Patriots punter Josh Miller, 36, on his injury-plagued season.
"It stinks. I just can't get the ball out there (on the drop). I mean, every time I walked back to the sideline in the Green Bay game I was like, â€˜I'm killing this team right now.' It's the most frustrating thing. I can't explain it. I mean, it's not the worst thing in the world. There are a lot worse things that can happen to you, but as far as frustration goes, it's up there, because this is what I do and I love it."
"What's really frustrating is that (my upcoming surgery) is like moving a little tiny thing out of the way and then I'm fine. It's a razor-sharp pain every time I extend my arm out or up. My little girl is 20 pounds, and I can't even pick her up. It's frustrating not being able to help the team out and kick the right way. I mean, there were spots where I knew I could hit a bomb and I just couldn't hit the candy out of a pinata. It was just awful."
-- Miller (Boston Herald)
"I'm probably better than he is. He made that move seven yards away from Urlacher and I don't know how he got around him, but bless him he did and got the first down."
-- Dan Koppen, Patriots center, on Tom Brady's skill as a runner. (Patriots.com)
"That's probably the hardest I've ever been hit in my life. I didn't see the guy coming. He hit me clean, hit me front side and I just kind of remember my head hitting the ground."
-- Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger, on Bart Scott's obliteration of him in the Steelers' loss to the Ravens on Sunday. (Associated Press)
"When you win a Super Bowl, you try to improve your team. The Steelers didn't do that."
-- Former Lions coach Steve Mariucci (The NFL Network)
"They said it took longer to get me propped up on the table than the actual surgery, so it went pretty good."
-- Rams OT Orlando Pace, on his season ending surgery. (St. Louis Post Dispatch)
"Totally ridiculous. It's unfair, not right that we'd be last on any list. I mean, we had 15 players who (were or became) Pro Bowlers on that team, and we dominated the playoffs all the way through. Oh, well."
-- former Raiders coach Tom Flores, on his '83 team being last on the list of the top NFL teams as done by NFL Films. (Sacramento Bee)
(By the way, the Raiders aren't actually last on the list. There have been 40 Super Bowl champions and the NFL Films list only includes the Top 20.)
"We hope it stands the test of time."
-- NFL Films president Steve Sabol on his list.
"These young guys don't know what they don't know. Their job is to play football and they should concentrate on playing football. They should let the guys who call the plays concentrate on calling the plays."
-- Browns head coach Romeo Crennel (NFL.com)
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40 comments, Last at 03 Dec 2006, 2:02am by Sid